“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes we ask ourselves – what am I passionate about? what is my purpose in life? or what do I love to do? – and the answer is not very clear to us. When we don’t know the answers to these questions it can make us feel as if we are just going through the motions of life every day.
There is a way to find out the answers to all these questions, by simply asking ourselves one question – What do I most want to give?
This question is really two-pronged, because within it we are asking what we most love to do and how do we most want to contribute to other people. Our greatest gift lies at the intersection between these two questions.
We often refer to the talents and skills we posses as “gifts” and you can think of it this way – we possess gifts because they were given to us to use and we are also expected to give them to other people. This makes all of us both the Receiver and the Giver.
Why Should You Discover Your Greatest Gift?
- You will know your purpose – Your purpose in life is to do the thing you love to do so well that you fulfill a need for other people. A purpose involves both “I” and “We.” That’s why knowing your purpose is so fulfilling – you get to do what you love and you get to make a contribution to life. It makes every day and everything you do seem meaningful (even mundane stuff).
- You will know your passion – It is thrilling to engage in activities that we love to do. It’s also peaceful. The combination of these two feelings makes for a fulfillment that we rarely find anywhere else in life. Adding passion to your life makes the days feel different, and increases your appreciation of life itself.
- The World needs it – The World needs you and your contribution. Without it, there is a great loss. Remember that when you nurture the thing that you love you are transforming it into something valuable. Share it freely with others.
- You will feel Joy – The joy of being alive comes from actively giving and receiving. The flow of energy between giver and receiver and then back again creates a current of love and vitality that is the key to not only being alive, but feeling alive too.
How To Discover Your Greatest Gift
- Ask yourself: What do I most want to Give? – It always starts with a question. Remember, this question has two parts – what do I love to do? and how can I contribute to others? By asking – what do I most want to give? – you ask both questions at once and can be sure that within the answer lies your greatest gift. If you ask for it, it will come to you.
- Write it down as it comes to you. – The key here is not to judge or to censor what comes to your mind. Write the answers down as they come to you, no matter how far fetched or absurd. You can always go back through them later and cut them down to what feels the best.
- Let your feelings guide you. – Pay attention to what answers seem to “pop into” your mind. Follow ideas and thoughts that attract you. This exercise is not really about being logical, it’s about seeing what feels the best to you.
- Be OK with vagueness. – Some people may have a very concrete answer to this question and may be able to name a tangible activity. However, I would imagine most people will come up with something that feels great, but seems a little vague. You can always refine this answer later, so don’t worry about being too specific right now. When I first did this exercise I came up with something like “To tell people what I see.” I didn’t really know what that meant at the time, but I knew it involved observing and experiencing, thinking about those things, and then writing or speaking about them (hence, this blog 😉 ). I’ve been able to refine that since, but if I had tried to be too specific I would have gotten away from my original intent.
- When you have that “certain feeling” you’ve found it. – The way that you know you have come to a correct answer is to feel it. It should be a combination of energy and excitement with peace and calm. Like you could fly if you wanted to, but can come back to the ground at any time.
- Investigate. – After you have come to an answer you like, begin to look into that answer, especially if it is vague. What does this mean to you? How can you begin to practice it right away? You already have everything you need to take that first step.
- It may “change” over the years. – As you refine your answer, your gift may seem to take on different forms. But, just know, that at it’s core it’s the same gift. It has simply grown to involve many forms.
What about you? Was there a way you discovered your greatest gift? Still looking? Share your thoughts in the comments!